Packaging technologies and value chain concepts to advance value-added, pulse-based foods
Desire for value-added non-meat based meals is increasing for reasons of cost, sustainability, and health. For example, 66% of the 31% of North Americans who practice meat-free days do so because non-meat based meals are perceived as healthy and the FOA attributes 15% of GHG to livestock which, comes at a huge environmental cost. Existing and emerging packaging technologies can be twisted to capitalize on this trend and expand the portfolio and consumption of value-added, pulse-food offerings. There is much potential. But, it is complex. The reality is that in order for packaging technologies applicable for pulses to gain traction, manufacturer and distribution/retailer and consumer needs must be met as well as the value chain aligned. These needs are expansive and include: efficiencies, profits, competitiveness, resource use, convenience, health, sustainability, shelf life, storage, logistics, and the environmental cost of refrigeration and freezing foods. Packaging technologies aligned with current and emerging processing technologies are part of the solution for increased consumption of value-added pulses. And value chain alignment to allow innovation and the balance of cost:benefit is essential. Packaging technologies with relevance to value-added pulses that will be discussed include:
- Sustainable (reduce, reuse, recycle, degrade) packaging
- Edible and antimicrobial packaging
- Active, intelligent, and responsive packaging
Value chain concepts of: agility, tactical knowledge, and incentives will be conveyed in the context of packaging innovation for value-added pulses.
Claire Koelsch Sand, Ph.D.
President, Packaging Technology and Research, LLC
Adjunct Professor, Michigan State University